Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September '08

Note to self...
How not to be late for Bloom Day:
Don't take a million photos!!
It makes it much too hard to choose just a few!
I've given myself this piece of advise over and over, but I still haven't taken it.....and probably never will. There's so much beauty to be found in a garden that it's hard to stop at just a few photographs, don't you think?
To see what's blooming in other gardens worldwide, please visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens, who first planted the idea of Bloom Day more than a year ago.

Looking at the big picture, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of color left in the front gardens, but if you walk up the driveway, closer to the house there's still plenty of blooms to be seen in other parts of the yard.
Nasturtiums, gaillardia (blanket flower or Indian blanket), coreopsis (tickseed) and gloriosa daisies (black-eyed Susan) are looking pretty in the side porch gardens.....

.......while geraniums, petunias and other plants provide plenty of bright spots in containers and window boxes.

In the Spring Garden, by the front porch yellow snapdragons and 2 varieties of marigolds make a pretty contrast with blue ageratum.

One variety of marigold seeds came to me as a delightful surprise in the mail from my dear blog friend, Sigrun, of Hillside Garden in Germany. She has an amazing garden and grows the most beautiful roses, and a great variety of other wonderful plants. Posted by Picasa

These "Lemon Gem" marigolds have the cutest little flowers and finer, rather lacy foliage than the common marigolds. I wish now that I'd taken a closeup photo of the two side by side for comparison. I'll try to remember to do that and post a picture in a future post.

The Top Lilac Garden is one of the most colorful at the moment. There are still a few blooms on the summer phlox, but the rudbeckia triloba (a small, later flowering black-eyed Susan) is stealing the show. It seeds itself with abandon so I deadhead the spent blooms diligently, leaving just a few, and weed out a lot of the seedlings in the spring. It has spread itself over the bank a little, and pops up here and there around the buildings. There's even a plant down in the ditch by the road. I'm happy when it acts like a wildflower...I just don't want it to do that in my gardens. I also move it up by the barn and buildings.
You'll notice that Reuben and Molly were playing a game of chase, following me around the gardens :) Posted by Picasa

Sedum Neon Stonecrop is looking pretty, and there are a few annuals tucked in there as well that aren't showing up in these photos.

This is the view from over the bank. There's a bright pink aster just beginning to bloom on the left, but this was taken last week, when the buds were just beginning to pop. I forgot to take a photo of it today. I left the artemisia looking rather wild on the back side of this garden, but pulled a lot of it out in other parts. I like the silvery foliage, but it's a vigorous spreader, and must be ruthlessly thinned out.

I think I pulled a little too much this time but it'll be back!

These gloriosas are still blooming in the daisy garden now that the shastas are finished and cut back. Posted by Picasa

Behind them are a clump of pink Japanese anemones, a passalong from a dear elderly gardening friend last fall.

I'm so happy with these airy delicate blooms!

She also gave me white, which I planted down in the lilac garden. Gorgeous, aren't they?

Another lovely white bloomer is the Rose of Sharon. Posted by Picasa

The self-sown annuals in the lily garden are blooming their heads off. There's nicotiana (tobacco plant), and Molly (formerly known as Max) sitting on the fence.....

......brightly colored portulacas (moss rose)......

.......wave petunias.......Posted by Picasa

........salpiglossis (painted tongue),

blooming in various color combinations.....

.......and ipomoea (morning glories), which I started from seed this past spring.

In the Pink Garden the obedient plant (physostegia virginiana) is in full bloom now.

Wild Blue Yonder rose is putting on a wonderful end-of-season show. The Japanese beatles have made a banquet of my roses this summer. Nasty things!

Also tucked in here, among the petunias, allysum, snapdragons and others, are these bright green leaved Jewels of Opar (talinum paniculatum), another of the many plants given to me by my non-blogging gardening friend, Marie. They have tiny pink flowers held on stems above the leaves, but the foliage is what they're all about. Posted by Picasa
This pink marguerite daisy (argyranthemum) is one I overwintered this year. It was an experiment that worked! (there were several that didn't).

Park Princess dahlia has 4 blooms open and more to come!

Eveline is one of three dahlias I planted rather late. They're just beginning to bloom.

Here's Orion...... Posted by Picasa

......and Blue Bell, planted in the Driveway Garden beside the butterfly bush.

Self-seeded mallow (Malva) just below the dahlias.

Another friend gave me 2 daturas (he called them purple trumpet). These are planted on the other side of the butterfly bush.

Up in the Rose/Clematis Garden the dark leaved heuchera (coral bells) has been blooming for a long time. There's plenty of self-sown allysum and some annuals I tucked in late to fill in spaces where I pulled out other plants. Posted by Picasa

The lovely Queen Elizabeth rose continues to produce a few blooms.

There's plenty of color in containers on the back patio. The Rasberry Blast petunias in the hanging basket have been gorgeous all summer, and next to them is Lambada ivy geranium, one of several that I overwintered. It's lop-sided, but still very pretty.

On the left side of the patio photo you can see perennial sweet peas climbing on a trellis. They've been producing blooms for a long time.

On the front porch is another ivy geranium that I overwintered. I don't know the name of this one, but I love the color! Notice in the background the vines in the hedgerow across the road have turned their red fall color. A few of our maple leaves have begun turning too. Fall is upon us, and summer is behind us, sad to say. I do enjoy the autumn season, but the long, cold winter follows too close on its heels. It's far too long a time to go without being able to get out into the garden among the beautiful colors. Posted by Picasa

But meanwhile, we have a few more weeks of gardening pleasures to look forward to, and a few sunflower blooms left to enjoy.

Willow, yawning widely, says, "I'm tired!"
Me too. It's late. Posted by Picasa
Happy Bloom Day everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Got Rocks? Make a Garden!

On the first of September Sandy and I returned from our morning walk to find my dear husband (DH) tackling the rock garden project that he'd begun in the spring.
(Sandy and her husband live in our tennant house that you can see on the left of this photo).
I think it was last summer that DH and I began mulling over the idea of making a small rock garden down near the road, just to the left of the Lily garden on our front lawn. Now, the last thing I need is another garden to take care of, but with so many lovely rocks available the temptation was just too great!
I tell him that he's an enabler...he's always offering to dig a new garden or make an existing one bigger....and I end up with more gardens than I can comfortably look after. Crazy pair we are!
So during rock picking time, while preparing the fields for planting, DH gathered together several large rocks and deposited them near that light pole in the picture below. After killing an area of grass, he brought several tractor loader scoops of nice dirt.....and that's as far as we got, until September 1st.

My agenda for that day was to tackle all the weeds that had grown in that lovely soil during the summer. I had asked earlier what DH's plans were for the day, hoping to enlist his aid, but he had a long list of jobs scheduled, so I figured I'd be weeding alone.
What a very pleasant surprise it was to return from our walk and find him pulling out all those weeds!

If you look closely (or click to make the picture larger) you can see Cleo laying in the dirt behind him. We're rarely without a kitty 'helper' when working in the garden. Notice how pretty the goldenrod looks in the field. There are wild asters and Joe Pye weed in there too, but they're hard to see unless you enlarge the photo.

The mosquitoes were hungry that morning! They've been awful lately, driving us crazy when we're working outside, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. It's unusual for them to be such a problem around here.

Jasmine was supervising the job. Posted by Picasa

She likes to think she's in charge :)
(she looks bossy, doesn't she?)

After the rocks were placed, and a tractor loader scoop full of compost was dumped on the bed, it was my turn to do some work! I shoveled the compost around and worked it into the soil, and then came the fun part...planting!
Is there anything nicer than a new garden just waiting to be filled with plants? It's like starting with a clean palette.
I'd been given several perennials and they were needing a home, so in they went. Then I added a few I'd started myself, plus a gloriosa daisy dug from another garden, and filled in mostly with transplanted annuals that had self-seeded in the nearby Lily Garden. It's so late that the annuals won't amount to much, but the portulacas, nicotiana, nasturtiums and alyssum added some instant color.

Three of the perennials came from Kim - 'Blackswamp Girl' - of 'A Study in Contrasts'. She very kindly sent 2 small Russian Sage plants and a tiny Baptisia that she found while digging up the sage. Kim, they're looking happy and healthy so far!
I also planted a small Caryopteris (Bluebeard), given to me by my DIL....a seedling from their 2 shrubs, which make lots of 'babies'. I'll probably move that next summer because they grow rather large (about 4'x4'), and it may be too big for this little garden. I may move the sages too, but this was a good place to start them growing.

I planted some yellow 'Basket of Gold' perennial alyssum and a few sedums, among other things. Next year I'll add a few more plants that are suitable for rock gardens. It was a bit too late in the year for proper planning. Now we just need to weed whack around the edges to neaten things up. Posted by Picasa

I had plenty of supervision from the kitty helpers :) There's Tink sitting on the Lily Garden fence.

Dear Phoebe (the cuddliest cat) and Murphy (the king cat).

Phoebe has extra toes....

......and so does sweet little Peige. We have several cats with big feet (polydactyl).

Here's a view looking over the Driveway Garden toward the Lily and Rock gardens. DH made that little teepee structure for me to grow morning glories on, but I didn't get around to making a space for them, so I placed it here to temporarily support the new climbing rose we planted last fall (Social Climber), which has been growing very nicely.

The Butterfly Bush (buddleia davidii) has been gorgeous, producing lots of blooms and attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. We're only seeing a few juvenile hummingbirds lately. Most of the adults have already begun their long journey south. We'll miss them until they return next May. Seems like a long time to wait.

This orange lily was a little surprise. I didn't intentionally put these two colors together. The butterfly bush was planted last year, and the lily grew from seeds I'd gathered and planted the year before. Our DIL told me her mother had grown orientals from seed, so I thought I'd experiment and see what happened.

This is the happy result!
Last year there were just stalks and leaves and I wasn't sure if they were offshoots from a nearby asiatic lily or if, indeed, the seeds had grown. Well, yes they did!
If you enlarge the photo you can see that the seeds are at the base of the leaf where it joins the stem. Posted by Picasa

I'm not a big fan of orange, but I really like this lily.

Cherry Cheeks has just finished flowering. It produced blooms over a long period.

White Temptation, next to the butterfly bush was another long bloomer.

She's a beauty! Posted by Picasa

Here's another little surprise that showed up at the beginning of this past week. We think someone probably dropped this kitten off here at the farm.

It's very timid and runs away from us, but I've managed to capture it a couple of times when it was eating. Hopefully it'll calm down soon and enjoy some cuddles. Meanwhile the barn kitties seem to have accepted it and are keeping it company. Posted by Picasa

The golden glow is just about finished, especially after a day of very strong winds last Friday which knocked some of the plants down. Posted by Picasa

The end of a long day.....time to feed the kitties!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!